Tag Archives: terrorism

Four Lions: Terrorism at its Finest

In this dark comedy/mockumentary of the Islamic world of terrorism, four “lions” of men come together for one reason only, to attack the Western infidels of Sheffield, England in order to send a message. And what a message they send. In one of the funniest movies of the past five years, for me, I couldn’t stop laughing as these moderately incompetent terrorists attempt to lay some waste and terror all over some English peoples. There’s mishaps, wavering trust and faith, and even some exploding sheep. Nothing could be better than one of the most controversial films to ever deal with a hot button issue.

This misfit group of terrorists are really intent on blowing up something. Be it a drug store or the members of a fun run, Hell, even their own mosque, they plan to incite some rage and tension between countries. There’s Omar (Riz Ahmed), the leader of the group with the best head on his shoulders. He plans to leave his family and be truer to the Muslim faith than his bookworm of a brother. What shocked me most about this film was why Omar’s loving and beautiful wife and son are okay with all that

Some kooky terrorists on the prowl.

he’s doing. There’s Omar’s dim witted friend and “bro” Waj (Kayvan Novak). Always wanting to travel on those “rubber dingy rapids”, Waj has the best of intentions but always seems to screw it up along the way. Throw in the wild card Barry (Nigel Lindsay) the white Muslim converted Englander who feels he’s better suited for terrorist acts than anyone in the group. He screws up a lot, but will never admit to his mistakes. And there’s Faisal (Adeel Akhtar) the man who blows up crows in preparation for an airborne attack.

Hassan pullin’ off some Muslim rapping.

Bring together this rag-tag bunch of Muslim extremists and you have a recipe for disaster. They cook up bombs in their flat with huge amounts of bleach and other cleaning products and slang it around with one of the funniest escape scenes you’ll ever see. There’s arguments on what a Wookie is (a bear or not?) and whether being a Muslim rapper is the right path in life. There are some great scenes in Afghanistan where Omar and Waj go for training and one of my favorite muck-up scenes takes place there as well. Is it racist I attempt to put on a English tinted Muslim accent? RUBBER DINGY RAPIDS BRO.

I was mightily impressed with Chris Morris’ directing and writing in this film. He researched information on the situation of terrorism and the “War on Terror” prior to this film. This helped accurately represent the frustrated characters he created in this film that just want to blow shit up. Coming from an actor turned director that I’ve watched in a few seasons of The IT Crowd, his humor wasn’t represented, and replaced with a much darker and brooding one. The council scene in which the local residents in Sheffield debate about terrorism is hard to watch and quite frightening when Hassan (Arsher Ali) is introduced. Their ideals and views may come across as ridiculous, but there are those out there who believe infidels must be killed and women must be locked away.

Explain this. Word.

Get some, Omar.

Not recognizing any of the actors from this film really helped enhance the experience of watching this film. They’re all fine actors and you begin to believe they are strong extremist Muslim supporters in this film. The gorilla style of shooting and set ups are all interesting and give a gritty feel to the film. The Afghanistan shots seem a bit unbelievable but its only for a short time that you have to jump into the warfare of the sands. The conflicts and characters develop as the film progresses and you learn that there is a serious side to the film. The dark humor becomes more real and you’re forced to realize situations like this happen, the terrorists have families and faces, they have feelings and emotions just like us. It’s not so much a sympathy film as it is a humorously dark look into what exactly terrorism means outside of our own perspectives. And I applaud that outlook. This film accomplishes its comedic elements and also delivers a message at the same time. Impressed as I was, this movie does deserve all the critical acclaim it got. Best film of 2010? You got it. A definite 9.7 out of 10.

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The Onion Movie: Film News at its Finest

So I’m sure there are those of you out there that follow The Onion News Network and enjoy all their satirical articles and videos. But the pinnacle of The Onion News Network? The Onion Movie. This movie takes all the best things of the 2000’s and put it all together into one satirical piece. With lead news anchor Norm Archer (Len Cariou) this movie destroys America and everything that has laid underneath its seedy underbelly for the last 100 years.

The layout for this movie is fantastic. Interspersed with reports from Norm (almost SNL style but with a serious delivery), this movie goes through a wide range of staged skits that connect one to another, characters bounce in and out in some

Norm Archer. You master.

wild ride of hot topics of 2008 and before. It’s pretty much ridiculous. I mean, a lot of the skits deal with stereotypes, racism, failed products, the American war machine, economy, and entertainment industry. In this movie, nothing is safe. And I loved every minute of it.

With my second time viewing it and showing it to an Onion News virgin, it was fantastic to anticipate all the sketches that were coming. I mean come on, the Queen Nathan? That is completely unexpected and a slap in the face with homosexuality’s member. The unknown stereotypes? I mean, who knew Peruvians jump in to save the day and shoot laser beams? With a multitude of black jokes (alcoholics, robbers, intelligent black men in search of the local library via asking a bartender, etc.) and a complete shakedown of the current sex fueled pop music scene (Take Me from Behind), people are getting destroyed.

A trio for the ages!

And how does this movie summarize? A complete collision of all characters and situations. A terrorist hijacking of the ONN studio in leu of ONN selling out to the corporate machine taking over with their damn annoying penguin? Perfect. Let’s hope those Peruvians come to save the day (Wink, wink). My favorite sketch? Obviously it has to be the white man mistaken for a black guy. I think that’s what all wiggers (white kid posers) deserve. Don’t dress all killer gangster unless you expect to pay the price of being hilariously profiled. Oh, and Cockpuncher. That’s a legit movie I would see with Steven Seagal. He’s a master and not that many people know it, but, come on, if he punched your cock, you’d notice in a hurry.

I could keep going on about every sketch and just how excellently they’re pulled off with an amateur cast of serious comics. With the help of Todd Hanson and Robert D. Siegel, writers of the film and directed by Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire, this film delivers without the flash. Just like the real news. (Weird fact, Robert D. Siegel wrote the screenplay for The Wrestler? What a twist! Shows you how ballin’ these guys are.) So check out this little satirical film of the American Machine. It’s well worth Brendan Laroux, and you gotta support a hockey player without legs or wrists. 8.6 out of 10.